Bangladesh will hope that Mahmudullah, their key middle-order batsman, is match-fit before they face India in a must-win game, at Edgbaston on Tuesday, 2 July.
Bangladesh have kept their semi-final hopes alive after registering their third win of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 against Afghanistan on Monday.
Mahmudullah had sustained a calf injury early in his innings against Afghanistan and could resume batting only after team physio Thian Chandramohan put on some compression tape around his calf. The 33-year old could take no further part in the game after being dismissed for 27, and was taken to hospital for scans which indicated that he had sustained a grade one tear.
"Mahmudullah has sustained a low grade calf injury. We will monitor his progress over the next few days with regards to his availability for the next World Cup match,'' Thihan Chandramohan said on Tuesday. Team manager Khaled Mahmud Sujon believes that a week's interval will give Mahmudullah enough time to recover before they face India in a must-win game.
“It’s a grade one tear. But it is curable. Our next match is on Tuesday. We have seven days in our hand. It’s a 50-50 chance at the moment. We cannot say he will play, or he is ruled out from the next match. We have to assess the situation in the next few days. Mahmudullah is a very important player for our team. I believe he will be okay before the game,” Mahmud said.
Skipper Mashrafe Mortaza too seemed optimistic about Mahmudullah recovering in time. "I am sure he will play against India even if there is the slightest chance. He can make up for the physical deficiency with mental strength."
Mahmudullah was Bangladesh's star performer in the 2015 edition, having notched up back-to-back hundreds against England and New Zealand - the first of which had helped Bangladesh qualify for the quarter-finals. It was his late flourish with the bat [46* off 33 balls] that powered Bangladesh to a match-winning total of 330/6 against South Africa earlier in the tournament.
The all-rounder hasn't been bowling in the ongoing World Cup after an MRI scan report had revealed a third a grade-3 tear on his shoulder before the start of the tournament.
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